SAN FERNANDO VENDORS PICKET AGAINST CENTER; SWAP MEET MAY BE RELOCATED.
Fighting to retain their livelihoods, about 70 swap-meet vendors picketed Friday against a developer's plan to build a 400,000-square-foot retail-commercial project on a large chunk of land they now use for an outdoor swap meet.
City officials contend the retail center could boost the local economy, but frustrated vendors said they worry the project would put them out of a job.
``I'm very angry,'' said Eduardo Delgado, 43, of Pacoima, who rents two spaces for $800 a month where he sells CDs and tapes. ``I've been working here for 19 years. I'm a citizen. I pay taxes. I have a good record. I have to raise my two daughters.
Why should we be thrown into the street?''
Delgado has organized a group of fellow vendors called ``Save the San Fernando Swap Meet.''
They plan to march on City Hall on Tuesday with about 500 people, he said.
The retail-center plan by Regency Realty Corp. of Los Angeles would include two major big-box stores of 140,000 square feet each.
One would be a home improvement type store and the other a major department store, said Sarah Withers, economic development manager for the city of San Fernando.
The center, to be located on 36 acres at the northeast corner of Arroyo Avenue and Glenoaks Boulevard, would also include 120,000 square feet of smaller retail shops.
San Fernando City Administrator John A. Orneals said Friday it was too early to say what impact the development would have on the 29-year-old swap meet that draws about 27,000 people a week.
``That hasn't even been discussed. If anything it would be relocated,'' he said of the shopping bazaar held three times a week.
Yet these words held little consolation for Judy Adams, who has managed the swap meet for 28 years and seen generations of families work there.
``Each little stall is a business,'' she said.
``I'm caught between a rock and a hard place because I have feelings for these people. It looks pretty good that they will build a shopping center. Two people - probably more - will be kicked out into the street.''
Staff Writer Greg Wilcox contributed to this story.